Bill Maher doesn’t believe it’s acceptable to punch Nazis. During a panel discussion on Friday’s episode of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, the host talked about photos of a man with a Nazi armband riding a bus that went viral this week. It was later rumored that someone punched the man.
“Liberals should not be raving about this,” Maher said. “We have a First Amendment. I don’t like Nazis either, I was against them on ‘Hogan’s Heroes.’ But you have to go by principles and not feelings, that’s what the other side does. You can’t punch Nazis.”
Singer/songwriter Tom Morello disagreed completely.
“Well, the First Amendment says you can’t pass laws that abridge free speech,” he began. “I mean, I grew up in a home with an anti-fascist. I mean, he was my uncle, who was a World War II veteran who fought against fascism. And if he was riding that bus and saw a Nazi symbol of someone who wanted to put all Jews into ovens and ethnically cleanse all ‘colored’ people from the planet, my 90-year-old uncle, if he were here today, would have punched that son of a b*tch in the face and I would have had his back.”
Maher maintained that that’s not free speech. Urban Radio’s White House correspondent April Ryan pointed out it was violence perpetuating violence.
“Is throwing Jews into ovens not violence?” Morello countered.
The panel quickly devolved into the guests talking over each other about how to respect freedom of speech without allowing hate to flourish and cause violence.
Watch the full discussion below: